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Thursday, 30 April 2009

A Classic Bridal Look

Bridal look
Originally uploaded by oxfordjasmine
One of my favourite parts of being a make up artist is Bridal Make up. Glossy Magazines and Fashion runways are excellent fun too and professional artists may scoff at this part of the business but I just love it.

It is exciting for both me and the bride, together we work out colours to complement the dress, season, time of day of the ceremony, colour scheme and flower arrangements and do a trial run of the make up. This is crucial to understand the bride's skin type and the products that are going to last all day and all night.

Now I come to think of it, it's probably because I am getting married soon and I can't seem to think of much else (apart from going down the gym and working harder than ever so I look great in my dress!).

So the picture on the right is a look I been playing with for a while, something soft and radiant which would suit any bride's colour scheme and complexion.

There is a tutorial for this look, you'll be pleased to hear and it has been edited in to three parts (eyes, lips, face). It's not on my channel but it will feature on a new YouTube channel for a make up company who have asked a few other Gurus and myself to make bespoke tutorials using their products. There is a clue as to who the company is in this paragraph! First one to guess correctly gets a prize, some lovely make up from the company!

Here's the tutorial (Added later on)

The channel is due to launch next week and will kick off with a prize draw for subscribers to win a gorgeous eye shadow from the newest range.

Stay tuned to my Twitter, Blog and YouTube for an announcement in the next week of this new channel and amazing eye shadow give-away!

Monday, 27 April 2009

Thank you Summer Secret Santa!

Summer Secret Santa
Originally uploaded by oxfordjasmine
A big thanks to my Summer Secret Santa, organised by the lovely Rebecca (Pandadoesmakeup) - she is some kind of genius to be sure.

Picture this, I sit in my office alone and it's raining and grey outside; the kind of Monday where I wished I wasn't so conscientious in coming in to work for a day of mind numbing chores.

Then I get a buzz from reception "Jasmine there is a package here for you". After the initial "is if for me or the company?", I am delighted to hear that it is indeed for me! Could it be? My Summer Secret Santa?

Racing downstairs, I rip open the jiffy bag and to the envy of the reception girls begin to take out the items. "Nadine's Lashes, how cool, I love those", "Such a lovely bracelet" " ooh an eye shadow palette from Storm"... they coo, but they aren't having any of it! It's all mine along with the animal print mirror which will live in my handbag, and the funky toe separators!

I've already put the eye shadow on as I was going to have a make up free Monday but I couldn't resist the creamy Sleek eyeshadows. There are a couple of matte ones in the Storm palette which are perfect for every day looks.

So thank you whoever you are Secret Summer Santa, you made my mundane Monday a real treat!


Saturday, 25 April 2009

Pre Wedding Skin and Hair Regime - Glowing Radiance Please!

It is less than three months until I get married and now is the time to get my skin in order for both the big day and the beach honeymoon!

Here's my routine:

Hot Cloth: take a muslin cloth or cotton facecloth and soak in water, wring it out and put it in a small plastic bag or wrap loosely in cling film. Microwave the wrap/bag for 30 secs on high. Remove the cloth and spread out over the face and leave for 20 seconds. This is a wondeful way to open the pores ready for cleansing.

Cleanse: Iona Cosmetics Lavender Cleanser - apply liberally, leave to loosen dirt and make up, then remove with a damp muslin cloth. Wipe gently around the eyes in a downwards motion, sweeping away towards the hair line. Scrub gently any dry spots on your face e.g on the cheeks and around the nose, also on the lips to leave them soft. Splash with water if you like. Pat the face dry or leave to air dry.

Tone: The Body Shop Vitamin E facial spritz. Spray this liberally over the face and leave to dry.

Spots: Treat any spots with tea tree oil or witch hazel gel.

Day - Pat over a layer of Clinique SPF 30 Face Cream liberally to face and neck, don't forget your ears!
Night - Apply The Body Shop Vitamin C Radiance Serum, one capsule only.

Eyes - Eye Rescue Cooling Gel by Molton Brown or Boots Organics First Signs Eye Gel/Cream

I like gels and gel creams because they don't leave your eyes puffy if used at night. The gel is wonderfully cooling and has a slight taughtening effect to lift bags and erase light wrinkles.

Once a week:
Start with the hot cloth treatment as outlined above then use either

Fruit Acid Mask: You can buy them or make your own. To make your own, deseed a papaya and mash in a bowl, add your favourite creamy cleanser (mine is Iona Cosmetics Lavender, but The Body Shop Aloe is a good alternative).  Apply to the face for 10-15 minutes and rinse off.

A few days later use the a Detoxifying Mud or Clay Mask - even better if used in the sauna or steam room.

Body: A circulation boosting salt scrub made using Coarse salt grains (e.g. Maldon or Dead Sea Salt) and The Body Shop's Monoi Miracle Oil. A gorgeous treat I use after a hard session in the gym and sauna. Use it before you shower and on dry skin, otherwise the salt just dissolves.  Work up the body from the feet to the neck, do arms from hands to arm pit. Yes do the arm pit too as it helps prevent ingrowing hairs. It leave my skin silky soft and glowing like nothing else will.  It's a pedicure, manicure and intensive moisturiser.

For my hair I am using a Mayonnaise hair wrap once a week to intensively nourish as well as leaving it glossy and smooth. Take a jar of mayonnaise and spread a handful or so evenly through the hair, wrap up in a warm towel and leave for 30 minutes. It's important to rinse with cool water, so you don't get scrambled egg in your hair. Then shampoo gently to remove sandwich smell and condition.

And finally when Bridezilla begins to surface and threatens a massive hissy fit; I do a bit of Yoga or go to the gym for some inner calm.

Friday, 24 April 2009

MAC Studio Mist Foundation Review

MAC spray foundation
Originally uploaded by oxfordjasmine

This foundation has some amazing benefits but also clear disadvantages, as does any type of foundation. I'm going to list out the ones I have found and let you decide whether you think it's worth trying it or not.

+Amazingly light, very similar to airbrushing but not as flawless
+It doesn't feel like you're wearing anything on your face
+Good even coverage all over and colour match
+Quick - 10 seconds and you're done
+No real need to blend, but you can buff it with a large Kabuki brush
+Does not clog pores
+No need for primer or powder to set
+Great for all skin types

-It takes a few applications to get it just right and it is easy to go overboard
-If you need concealer, put it on first
-Application is not as controllable as airbrushing.
-If you are like me and touch your face a lot during the day, the foundation goes patchy as it is such a fine layer.
- Limited colour range
- MAC don't seem to make it anymore!

I honestly really like this product because it is so quick and the coverage is very good, which when I am rushing about is just a treasure. I can live with the disadvantages (apart from it not being available after the CCO runs out!). It costs £16 for a cannister which is roughtly the same size as a regular studio liquid foundation and is available in three shades (I use Dark).

Have you ever used it, what did you think? Would you use it to achieve an airbrushed effect?

Coastal Scents new lipgloss range "Smacks" Ass!

The new range of Coastal Scents "Smacks" lipglosses landed in my hot little hands today, and I had to share my excitement with you.

There are stunning 21 colours and you'll be sure to find one to suit every mood, occasion and look. Each 1.5g tube comes with a little brush rather than a foam pad applicator that tends to wipe off as much as it applies! It's pretty sticky stuff but it is very similar to MAC's lipglass in terms of texture, density of colour and application style.

The names are very entertaining; from top to bottom of the columns in the picture. Then left to right of the three columns we have:

Column 1 - the peaches/coppers/reds
Pucker - clear gloss
Cosmic - sheer baby pink with silver and pink glitter
Near Peach - no glitter, dense peachy/pink
Coral Funk - mid tone pink with gold and peach glitter
O Scarlet - sheer red with gold, purple and light green glitter
Bohemian Orange - warm nutty brown with bronze shimmer
Sheer Crimson - spicy pinky brown with silver shimmer

Column 2 - the pinks
Strut on Nude - creamy baby pink with silver shimmer
Odyssey - bubblegum pink with silver shimmer
Pep Pink - strawberry icecream colour - no shimmer
Carlotta - sheer mid pink with a small amount of silver shimmer
Flippin Hot - hot pink with gold shimmer
Sweet Anna - sheer lilac/pink
Monroe a Go Go - dark pink with silver shimmer

Column 3 - the browns/tans/plums
Sheer Tan - light brown with gold glitter
Oasis - neutral beige pink
Mega Mauve - sheer dark brown/pink with gold shimmer
Plum Crazy - mid purple with lots of gold shimmer
Fusion - royal purple with lots of pink shimmer
Copper Flame - spicy reddy brown with copper shimmer
Star Dustin - dark brown with gold and pink shimmer

If you click on the picture it will take you to my Flickr page, there are few swatches of my faves.

Now as there are so many to choose from, I've thought about how you could wear them and here are my recommendations:

Day - I've picked colours which are light, nude or only slightly shimmery for their natural look.

Pucker (Clear), Near Peach, Strut on Nude, Oasis, Sheer Tan, Carlotta, Monroe a Go Go, Mega Mauve

Evening - I've picked colours which have more shimmer, depth and warmer colour and can be worn on their own. Some have no shimmer but would work very well over the top of a lipstick for a wet shine look.

Pep Pink, Sweet Anna, Plum Crazy, Sheer Crimson, Star Dustin, Bohemian Orange, Copper Flame

Wham, Bam, Thank you Glam! - These are the hottest and most glittery, worn on their own or over the top of a lipstick for extra Shazaaaam!

Odyssey, Cosmic, Coral Funk, Flippin Hot, Fusion, O Scarlet

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Smash and Grab Must Haves

Everyday stuff
Originally uploaded by oxfordjasmine
Here are four little items that I swiped from my make up collection as I was running very late. I quickly decided on:

e.l.f. Duo eye shadow cream in Butter Pecan - good as both an eye shadow and for contour and highlight on the rest of the face. I love things which are multifunctional!

Clinique High Impact Mascara - just for the sheer "oompf" it gives my lashes in one coat and I don't need to curl them either. It was a toss up between that and MAC waterproof but that's part of my pro kit so needs it's own applicator which I didn't have time to grab!

Barry M Intense Black Eye Liner Pencil - better longevity, doesn't smudge as quickly as kohl and good for the waterline.

e.l.f Luscious Liquid Lipstick in Pink Lemonade - it's a pink sheer and shimmery semi gloss lipstick that I think is good for an every day look.

What I don't have in the photo is my The Body Shop translucent powder sheets which I put over the eye shadow cream to help prevent creasing and also use around my nose, chin and forehead to blot the shine that builds up in the afternoon.

Before I leave the house at light speed, I grab items that are going to stay put, do more than one thing and will look natural all day long.

So those are my smash and grab make up items, what are yours!?

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Barefaced Beauty Kit

Barefaced Beauty Kit
Originally uploaded by oxfordjasmine
A couple of items from the Barefaced Beauty range.

The mineral foundation in Sincere is a wonderful velvet smooth consistency and gives good coverage, I felt that I perhaps needed to put on a concealer first or use a second covering of foundation with a smaller brush in the undereye area. The colour match was great though and it lasted all day.

With a touch of the Mineral Glow in Sparkling Sand in key areas such as the tops of the cheekbones and down the nose the look was far more natural than a matte canvas.

I sometimes get a bit of dry skin on my cheeks and some minerals can just cake around this, the good ones though won't do this. This one did a bit but after some more buffing with the Kabuki it was fine.

The blusher in Apricot was light and well pigmented so I didn't need to use very much to get a lovely glow on my cheekbones.

My favourite has to be a mineral lipstick and lipgloss, both are highly pigmented, smooth and last a good while on the lips.

The eyeshadows were light and silky, however be careful of the Earth mineral eyeshadow as it's a very dark brown and I found it a bit difficult to blend. However, used wet it was a gorgeous eyeliner.

The Kabuki brush was super cute, and after a wash and condition it wasn't rough on the skin, I normally use a Taklon one which is very soft.

All in all I liked the blusher and lipgloss/lipsticks the most for the high pigmentation which meant I hardly had to use any!

A Barefaced Beauty Starter kit, not the one in the picture, consisting of a full sized mineral foundation, setting powder and Kabuki brush costs £32 from the website

New Barry M Nail Paints

These lovely little beauties are the new Spring/Summer 09 nail paints from Barry M; available online now and then in stores from May.

From left to right: 303 Bright Purple, 302 Fuchsia, 301 Block Orange, 300 Acid Yellow and 304 Mint Green.

The thing I like about Barry M nail paints is that they last and last and last. The Mint Green nail paint is a great dupe for MAC's Peppermint Patti. Fuchsia is one of my favourite colours also, I am wearing it on my toes right now and it makes me happy to see them during Yoga! No one else has snazzy toes in the class!

I am having a hard time choosing just one so I think I might have to wear a different one on each nail on each hand and foot!

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Girls Aloud Lashes Tutorial

Today after no deliberation what so ever I marched in to Superdrug and demanded to know where the Girls Aloud lashes were being kept. Half expecting them to be behind a glass counter for protection!

I found that I was not the only on "eyeing" them up (aha! Did you see what I did there...?). I ummed and ahhed over which to get, I thought I would go for Nadine's but decided on Cheryl's in the end. I could easily have bought them all and might well go back and get the rest!

The glue isn't that great it is a bit like that copydex glue so it goes all rubbery and sticks to your lashes when removing the falsies. Still I have some other lash glue that I will use in future.

For less than £5 you can purchase a set of very nice falsies, they are a bit fragile so be careful when removing and replacing them in the box and getting any old glue off them.

I did a Cheryl-esque tutorial today and here's the link.

If you're a false lashes fiend like me then why stop at these? In Superdrug at the moment, it's a buy one get one half price on most of them and they have a much better choice than Boots.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

OxfordJasmine FAQs

Some of these are answered on my channel page but I still get asked a lot of random questions so I thought I'd address them here:

Are you Pakistani, Arabic, Indian or whatever?
I am an Indian woman, born and raised in England where I currently live.

What is that scar on your forehead?
It's a scar and I love it as it's part of me.

Why are you cruelty free?
Because the price of beauty is too high if it means animals must suffer an agonising existence. I have two rescue cats and I love them to pieces, the thought of them suffering for my make up just doesn't make any sense to me. It's easy to be cruelty free, there is a massive choice of products, most available from your local chemist or supermarket or just accessible online.

Do you get send loads of free make up?
Sadly I do not, I buy a lot of it myself especially the newest collections. I won't always review or use items that I have been sent if I cannot make them work for me - I will give feedback to the company and hope that they will listen and refine it. I prefer to just talk about the good experiences that I have with make up.

Do you make a lot of money as a YouTube Partner?
Oh how I wish I could live off the Partner income, that would be wonderful. It's a love of make up which keeps me making my videos. The odd cheque is a lovely bonus which means I don't have to do overtime and I can spend more time making tutorials!

Have you ever modelled?
Yes when I was 16. I decided to stop modelling when I went to University as it was difficult to fit the two in.

I am proud of my size 12/10 curves, I enjoy desserts, cooked breakfasts and chocolate and I go to the gym almost every day to stay fit. I don't believe in diets or starving yourself to maintain a slim figure, exercising and healthy eating are enough.

How do you keep your skin looking nice?
Firstly I make sure I drink plenty of water, I don't use heavily coloured or perfumed products as they bring me out in a rash. I used to suffer from Roseacea and occasionally get break outs of it on my cheeks. There is no treatment and it's sore, red and raised and takes ages to go away! When that happens I go back to basics of cleansing, moisturising and sunscreen is a must. Sunscreen is your biggest friend, use it every day and you'll stay younger looking.

Why did you train to be a make up artist?
A few years ago I decided to pursue the things I had a massive interest in but had never had time to try out. Turns out I was really good at plastering, carpentry and make up. So I chose make up for the better working conditions and I don't have to work with men who find it difficult to comprehend a female plasterer!

Do you do requests?
By all means email me and ask, I love to hear about the kinds of looks you like. I can't promise to do them as I have a huge backlog of looks and reviews as well as professional tips to do also.

Please bear in mind that it can takes hours to film, edit and upload a video! If you want a bit of advice or ideas for a special occasion then ask me for a colour scheme rather than a video. Please do not to be offended if I reply that I can't do your request, it's nothing personal, I just don't have enough time to do them all.

Do you do makeovers?
Yes I am available for makeovers, bridal and editorial work. Just drop me an email to find out more about my rates and locations.

And finally before you ask me a question that isn't one of the above...
I really appreciate your positive Comments, Ratings, Twitterings, Subscriptions and Blog views; it's because of your support that I am able to promote cruelty free make up and hopefully play a part in ending cosmetic animal testing for good.

Despite being on YouTube and open to public curiosity, I don't answer personal questions about my life so don't be offended if I don't reply to your question, perhaps consider how protective you would feel if a stranger wanted to know the intimate details of your life!

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Sleek Divine Eye Shadow Palettes

A good alternative to the vibrant and gritty colours in the Urban Decay range I would say, quite richly pigmented but more powdery. What you see in the palette is pretty true to what you will swatch if you pick up enough of the eye shadow. If you're lucky enough to have a Superdrug near you that stocks this range then it's worth an amble down there to try it. For around £5 each, it's pretty good value for 12 shades to play with.

Left: Chaos palette, 12 gorgeous and vibrant matte shades.
Right: The Original palette, again 12 sexy and metallic colours.

Here's the link to the holiday/clubbing look where I used the Original Sleek Palette.

I'll be going back for seconds of this pudding!

I was sent this a few weeks ago and I thought someone was playing a cruel joke by sending me what looked like a mouldy fruit cake.

On closer inspection and reading the enclosed leaflet I derived that it is in fact a block of Ghanaian Black Soap from the lovely Coastal Scents. Here's the blurb:

"Black Soap contains no scents, preservatives or chemicals. It is processed in a small village in Ghana. The active ingredients include virgin palm oil and potash from the ashes of plantain leaves. Plantain is a rich source of vitamins A & E and iron.

This soap is said to relieve acne, psoriasis, eczema, oily skin and clear blemishes. Hmm... I was still not convinced by the cakey looking thing. "

I left it in it's bag for a week, thinking "Nah, mate I am not putting something that looks like a mouldy old Christmas pudding on my face"

Eventually, curiosity got the better of me. On opening the soap, there was no odour and it felt dry to the touch not sticky as I expected. I gingerly broke off a bit that was about the size of a penny and worked it in to a lather with some warm water. I applied the foam to my face and worked it around for a bit.

On rinsing and patting dry, I sensed no hideous reactions, dry patches or tight feeling skin like I get even with soap free soaps - just smooth and soft skin. I am pretty happy about that. I use a multitude of different facial cleansing products and this is pretty darn good at removing make up.

I am pleased to say that I also used it for bathing and washing my hair too, I would advise though to only use it if your hair is on the greasy side as it will leave it "squeaky" clean! I used it as an alternative to shower gel and it didn't dry out my skin either. However my fiance came out in hives but he doesn't like soap.

The only down side is the storage and that it isn't exactly visually appealing. The cake that arrives is literally as big as a Christmas Pudding so I cut mine up in to handy bar sized pieces and put the rest in a tupperware container. But it goes a bit soft after a few uses and looks rather unpleasant on the soap dish as it leaves a brown goo underneath...

If you can get past it's weird looking appearance and storage issues, you will be pleasantly surprised as how good it is as a cleanser.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Flutter ye not

I love these lashes, they go perfectly with the winning look in my birthday contest! The winner is Rosewitch2000 with her stunning peacock blue, purple and orange look. She wins the hamper of MAC, Barry M, elf and Iona goodies.

These lashes were from Screenface in London and only cost £6.80! I love to flutter these!

Coastal Scents Awesome Foursome

I picked these as my favourite four from the the new Coastal Scents Hot Spots single eye shadow refil range, these will be hot for spring and take you through to summer. The light blue reminds me of blue bells!

You can make so many lovely looks from just these four colours, they are quite pigmented, creamy soft and would look great over paint pots, cream eyeshadow, pencil or applied wet for extra vibrancy.

A tutorial or two is sure to follow soon as soon as I get through playing with the gazillion hot spots in this range!

Available from

Face of the Day 6 April 2009

FOTD 6_4_2009
Originally uploaded by oxfordjasmine
I was going out to a 30th Birthday party so decided to try out some of the Body Shop eye shadows in dark emerald green and frosty white. Both looked lovely over the top of MAC Indianwood paint pot and went well with the MAC spice lip pencil and gloss.

Friday, 3 April 2009

The Body Shop had me at Hello

Naturally, I am a fan of The Body Shop already so I was delighted to be asked to try even more of their products. I shall be reviewing a few of my favourites for you soon.

The Body Shop kindly invited me and some of my favourite beauty bloggers and YouTube Gurus to a bloggers day, we found out more about their company ethos (fair trade, vegetarian and cruelty free) and upcoming new products. We also received a skin care consultation and make over. I was in awe of Chase Aston, he has such a wealth of experience, I should be so lucky to be so talented.

I was impressed by the cream to powder foundation as I have not had much luck in the past with them. Checking out the photo, and 8 hours later as I was taking it off, it was pretty flawless and didn't make me look ashen or chalky like I have had with Clinique in the past.

The new lip butters are also lovely, the one I like is the Yes, yes, yes - because it is gorgeous but also that nearly £4 of the £5 it costs goes to an AIDS charity for children, a cause which is very close to my heart.

Bloggers@MAC Oh dear!

Here we are outside MAC on Carnaby Street, it was mayhem inside, mainly because of us drooling over the new collection and various other delectable items. I thought I restrained myself very well as I only bought three items (review coming up soon). I was very jealous of everyone else's purchases though! We also went to Screenface, I bought THE most fabulous lashes and Shu Uemera for their lovely eyeshadows.

It was such a lovely day and the weather was perfect for us to wander about chatting, there's nothing like other make up bloggers to chat to about make up, no one else really can take that much!

We also swapped stories about YouTube videos and blogging!

It was lovely to meet everyone, and I hope that we get to do it again soon. I went home very happy after a wonderful day.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Coastal Scents Camouflage Concealer Palette

I was surprised today with my Coastal Scents haul, what a nice treat, a large box of palettes from the US. I was most impressed with this palette though, the camouflage concealer of 10 shades of creamy slightly dry concealer - if you have dry skin I would advise an extra bit of moisturiser and primer.

There is a great selection of colours so as I usually tailor mix all foundations and concealers for a perfect match, this is good for me. Don't worry if you don't have clients of all colouring, these are really good for contouring and highlighting too using the darker and lighter shades. That is one of my favourite parts of make up artistry especially on brides! Bam! look at those cheekbones!

The palette cost $15 and shipping was another $15 but was well worth it if you're ordering a few things. The packaging was brilliant, nicely wrapped in protective bubble wrap and paper and in a sturdy box which meant that everything I ordered arrived in pristine condition.

A few more Coastal Scents haul items to follow!
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